There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a public affairs officer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $31.73 an hour? That's $66,001 a year! Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 6% and produce 17,300 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Public Affairs Officer Do

There are certain skills that many public affairs officers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed interpersonal skills, organizational skills and problem-solving skills.

Learn more about what a Public Affairs Officer does

How To Become a Public Affairs Officer

If you're interested in becoming a public affairs officer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 69.5% of public affairs officers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 18.1% of public affairs officers have master's degrees. Even though most public affairs officers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Public Affairs Officer

Public Affairs Officer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Public Affairs Officer

Public Affairs Officers in America make an average salary of $66,001 per year or $32 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $109,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $39,000 per year.
Average Public Affairs Officer Salary
$66,001 Yearly
$31.73 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Public Affairs Officer

There are several types of public affairs officer, including:

Account Coordinator


An account coordinator is an expert who helps account administrators by providing everyday managerial assistance. This includes organizing and filing trade agreements and reports. As an account coordinator, you must sustain a good connection with your customers and traders by resolving problems with constant interaction. You will conduct findings for potential customers and give customer reviews to the account management crew. You are also expected to supervise the merchandising process and improve request discharge. Plus, you are to execute a good exhibition and remain updated on the organization's goods and services.

Also, you are required to help in generating and executing enterprise enhancement programs, create business gatherings, and carry out follow-ups. You have to sustain a vast understanding of the client's account concerning its goal, business, and rivals. You need to have and demonstrate outstanding interpersonal, problem-solving, communication, and time management skills. You must also be able to provide solutions to issues, pay attention to details, and have proficiency in electronic and word processing applications. In addition, you need preferably a bachelor's degree in communication, business, or marketing or an associate degree. With these, you will earn an average yearly salary of $42,003 or $20.19 per hour.

  • Average Salary: $39,973
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Communications Coordinator


A communication Coordinator supports the communication department to perform administrative tasks in executing and improving communication strategies. He/She also puts down several contents to assist marketing and communication endeavors. This includes copywriting, newsletter, and press release. Primarily, you are meant to assist the communication department in implementing and building a master plan to improve company objectives. The success and failure of your work must be well monitored by giving an analysis and reporting the campaigns and strategies. As a communication Coordinator, familiarity with the latest industry trends helps you provide recommendations for communication strategies and practices. You also cannot ignore media publicity; therefore, responding to media inquiries and maintaining a relationship with journalists helps your work to be more effective.

Your responsibilities include organizing press conferences, coordinating volunteers, assisting the staff, and performing outreach to magazines, press, and influencers to improve the company's productivity. Uncommon interpersonal skills, public speaking skills, exceptional writing skills, management and organizational skills, and knowledge of communication and marketing morals are all essential skills of a communication Coordinator. The average salary of a communication Coordinator annually is $45,000. A bachelor's degree in Mass Communication, Journalism, or other related fields will set you up for the role.

  • Average Salary: $47,075
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Media Coordinator


Media Coordinators are communications professionals who plan and implement targeted communications and advertising content for clients. They research, write, proofread, and edit all content for broadcast, print, and online distribution channels. They coordinate the execution of marketing and advertising campaigns for broadcast, digital, and media outlets. Furthermore, they negotiate deals with media channels. Moreover, they serve as liaisons between their clients and media organizations, monitor all campaigns, and compile a report on results.

Media coordinators are required to have a bachelor's degree in communications, media, or a related field. They must have at least three years of work experience in a similar role. They are an expert at targeted communications and advertising campaigns. Also, they must be conversant with SEO, web traffic metrics, and social media practices. Key skills include interpersonal, decision-making, research, and communication skills. Their salary ranges from $33,000 to $55,000, which is $42,495 on average yearly.

  • Average Salary: $47,471
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Public Affairs Officer Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active public affairs officer jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where public affairs officers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Public Affairs Officer Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
4New York1,921$91,954
10New Jersey1,251$88,103
11North Carolina1,240$59,648
23South Carolina492$55,132
37New Mexico241$58,678
38Rhode Island207$79,664
39New Hampshire207$74,073
41West Virginia157$68,849
42North Dakota128$70,396
43South Dakota119$57,378

Public Affairs Officer Education

Public Affairs Officer Majors

12.3 %

Public Affairs Officer Degrees


69.5 %


18.1 %


7.2 %

Top Colleges for Public Affairs Officers

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




4. University of Houston

Houston, TX • Private

In-State Tuition




5. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




6. Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




7. Villanova University

Villanova, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




8. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




9. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




10. Marquette University

Milwaukee, WI • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Public Affairs Officer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.2% of public affairs officers listed press releases on their resume, but soft skills such as interpersonal skills and organizational skills are important as well.

  • Press Releases, 14.2%
  • Public Affairs Guidance, 11.8%
  • Crisis Communications, 5.0%
  • Strategic Communications, 3.9%
  • Community Relations Programs, 3.9%
  • Other Skills, 61.2%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Public Affairs Officer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Public Affairs Officer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Public Affairs Officer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Public Affairs Officer diversity

Public Affairs Officer Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among public affairs officers, 40.8% of them are women, while 59.2% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among public affairs officers is White, which makes up 67.1% of all public affairs officers.

  • The most common foreign language among public affairs officers is Spanish at 40.5%.

Online Courses For Public Affairs Officer That You May Like

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1. Science Communication: Communicating Trustworthy Information in the Digital World


In a world of information overload, how does one find reliable information? Science is supposed to be the answer to our society's complicated challenges. However, as the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted, not understanding what is fake news, misinformation or what is fact may lead to widespread public mistrust, or turn science into fuel for conspiracy theories or propaganda. Scientific findings are prone to change, making it difficult to effectively communicate them to the public. This fosters...

2. Communicating During Global Emergencies


In collaboration with the Rollins School of Public Health and the CDC's Division of Global Health Protection, Emergency Response, and Recovery Branch, this course introduces basic concepts and principles of communicating during a global crisis or emergency. It explores why communication during an emergency is different and the importance of adapting emergency messages to the needs of affected populations. Through sample scenarios, you will get the opportunity to identify information needs and...

3. Public Relations: Media Crisis Communications


Public Relations: You can shape and control your media messages at the worst possible times...

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Best States For a Public Affairs Officer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a public affairs officer. The best states for people in this position are New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Virginia. Public affairs officers make the most in New York with an average salary of $91,954. Whereas in Connecticut and New Jersey, they would average $89,269 and $88,103, respectively. While public affairs officers would only make an average of $86,810 in Virginia, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New York

Total Public Affairs Officer Jobs: 1,921
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Virginia

Total Public Affairs Officer Jobs: 1,553
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Rhode Island

Total Public Affairs Officer Jobs: 207
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Public Affairs Officers

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Top Public Affairs Officer Employers

Most Common Employers For Public Affairs Officer

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
2American Red Cross$114,427$55.019
4U.S. Department of State$86,278$41.4830
5United Nations$83,128$39.9710
6Department of Homeland Security$76,933$36.998
7NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration$76,487$36.777
8Prep for Prep$71,900$34.574
9United Spinal Association$68,772$33.063

Public Affairs Officer Videos